A world of roofs by Gerard
A New Zealand invention set to take off
With the first export order coming just a few years after the company’s 1957 inception, it was clear early on that Gerard pressed steel roofs were destined to become a worldwide success.
A new, light, panel-roof system that’s durable and quick to install was bound to get attention from customers in regions prone to climatic and meteorological extremes, regardless of the product’s many other advantages.
From local to global
International demand became so great that, in spite of expansion that included a new state-of-the-art factory, the decision was taken to invest in extra manufacturing offshore. This lightened the load on Auckland, which, by the late 1980s, was supplying places as far afield as the USA, Japan and Europe.
In 1989 the first steel panels rolled off a new production line in California; international proliferation continuing with the purchase and development of two further manufacturing sites in other continents as demand there grew.
By the late nineties, Gerard was either exporting to, or manufacturing locally in Africa, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Central Europe, China, Japan, Malaysia, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, South America, the UK and the USA.
Brainpower is Gerard NZ’s most important export
Gerard's international success isn't just a case of loading up shipping containers and 'hoping for the best’; it's the export and application of knowledge and expertise. Manufacturing, quality assurance, installation and most other significant operations are not only seeded with Kiwi cleverness but developed and managed according to our practices and standards.
Not every country has the same needs; Gerard has had to adapt, tailor its offer and in some cases develop new products to meet customers’ requirements. For example: in 2011 a special recyclable cardboard pallet was designed for a Japanese customer as an alternative to wooden packaging.
Export expertise still based in Auckland
Now, after over half a century of global operations, and plants on four continents, New Zealand continues to be the flagship manufacturing base.
Perhaps more significantly though, with product development, marketing and technical expertise emanating from here, New Zealand remains the brand’s innovation centre and ‘spiritual home’.